Khewra Salt Mines (Mayo Salt 326 BC Mines)

According to popular belief, the Khewra Salt Mine, a vast underground cavern spreading over one hundred square kilometers, was discovered by Alexander the Great. The story goes that whilst Alexander and his army were resting in Khewra during their march across modern day Pakistan, some of the troops’ horses were seen licking the stones on the ground. This was observed by Alexander’s men, and when they licked the stones, they found that it was salty, resulting in the discovery of the Khewra Salt Mine. This tale is likely to be anecdotal in nature, perhaps having its roots in the colonial era when there was a craze amongst Western explorers to trace the route taken by Alexander the Great when he journeyed through Pakistan and India.

It is unknown when exactly mining begin in the Khewra Salt Mine. According to the Mughals, who came to power in northern India and Pakistan during the 16 th century, salt mining at Khewra was taken over from the local tribal chiefs. These chiefs were from the Janjua-Raja tribe, and may have been mining the Khewra Salt Mine since the 13 th century.